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2007 Black FJC
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Way back in June, I started having "performance problems" out in Utah. You know, embarrassing "lack of power" right when it was needed. Under these circumstances, I did what anyone would do: I limped off to Vegas. But it just got worse! I feared I might never "perform" again.

Of what do I speak? Engine power, of course :D It started as a slight power drop out at high speed and revs, but it developed (over several hundred miles) into a nearly paralyzing condition. Synchronous with the power loss, the "check engine" light would come one, and my scan gauge told me I had a p0171/p0174 error (lean mixture). Much of the discussion of the hunt for the cause while the truck was at Desert Toyota in Vegas is described in this thread, with a little extra discussion in here.

My truck sees a lot of desert dust - it's coated much of the time. This confused the Toyota dealership a bit - they cleaned out the air intake and replaced a dirty mass air flow sensor (none of which was the issue) before they finally got to the real problem: the fuel pump and pump screen.

The fuel pump and screen turn out to be loaded with dust and fine sand. It's not some other form of residue, since you can put your finger in the old part and pull out nice mineral grains - it's good old desert dirt.

How on earth did that much dirt get in the system? I don't know. I'm not crazy sloppy when fueling, but the fuel cap bay is dirty sometimes. I did not have a locking gas cap on until about 9 months ago (I've been driving the truck since June '06) - so there was a long period when maybe someone could have dumped sand in. I do have a Man-A-Fre auxiliary tank, and mine was the test article vehicle for the tank, meaning that the tank was on-and-off the vehicle like 5 or so times. I have used some very dicey out-of-the-way gas stations in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and California - maybe that had bad pumps. I do use Scepter fuel cans for refilling the truck sometimes - the filler nozzle for the tanks has it's own screen, but it's relatively coarse.

Anyway, here are the photos:



Fuel pump and associated bits





Filter screen is hard and distended - I'm assuming this is from accumulation of fine dust inside the screen


Dust and fine sand inside the main housing




Dust and fine sand in the tubing connectors
 

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That's amazing. I wouldn't expect to see that sort of thing in the pump itself (past the filter sock). But........ In a previous life I was an environmental engineer for a large well know oil company. One of my jobs was cleaning up fuel leaks in the ground at service stations, bulk plants and terminals. In years past all the tanks in the ground were steel. They corroded and either leaked fuel out, or, if the ground water level was high enough, leaked water into the tanks.

I have been on jobs where when we pulled the tanks out of the ground, there were holes the size of quarters clear thru the tanks. The only thing holding the fuel in or the water out was the clay/silt that had collected around the holes essentially making a poor excuse for a plug. Some older, mom & pop service stations are still using steel tanks. All the majors have gone to double-walled fiberglass tanks with sensors to prevent costly leaks (in or out).

Also, a properly installed tank is sloped. The fill end is the low end and the pump end is the high end. Sediment is supposed to settle on the low end far away from the turbine (pickup) end. As well, all dispensers are supposed to have sediment filters.

All I can say is, steer clear of those old time service stations out in the desert that always look so lonely in the movies. They are nothing but trouble.

DEWFPO
 

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Interesting, glad to hear you got it fixed!!!:cheers:
 

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Wow! I would think the only way to get silt into your fuel pump is from the tank. But I would think with the sealed filler neck it wouldn't be possible. Weird. Very weird.
 

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Glad that got it figured out and changed finally. That is a lot of sand, crazy. DEWFPO nice post as well on the diffrent tanks looks like filling up at a shading station could be the cause of the sand for are buddy MIR.
 

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Great Post!!! My dash board Xmas tree lights came on 5 miles after I bought petrol last week from my usual neighbourhood fuel station but from a pump I have never seen them use before. I noticed delayed movement when stepping down but no serious power loss. My friends OBDii said it was P0171!! I cleaned the MAF this morning and after 15 miles the lights came on again. I'll try and check the lines for leakages before opening up the fuel pump tomorrow. I do a lot of beach driving...

This thread has helped a lot and I hope i can resolve my p0171 easily.

Thanks everyone,

Paddy
Lagos, Nigeria
 

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I would switch out the injectors as well to be on the safe side
 
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